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Rwandese capital of Kigali is hosting 2,800 youth from all over the continent for the maiden three-day YouthConnekt Africa Summit that opened on Wednesday.


The Summit that was organized jointly by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with UNCTAD, UNDP and other YouthConnekt partners runs under the them: “Realizing Africa’s Youth Potential.”


Rwanda’s government in collaboration with the UNDP in 2012 launched the YouthConnekt initiative which in turn resulted to this summit that seeks to shape the future of the continent’s youth.


“This is the time to bridge the gap between African youth and the limitless opportunities the continent offers. Let us all deliver the Africa we want by investing in our young people,” Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said.


“YouthConnekt Africa Program alone aims to oversee the creation of 10 million jobs and this will be achievable if we put our young people at the centre stage of inclusive and sustainable development,” he continued.


From the summit, a policy, programmes and partnerships will be established which will in the end guide the continent to its goal of creating at least 54 million jobs to be absorbed in the ever growing labour force.


UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, Abdoulaye Mar Diye estimates that Africa currently has about 200 million youths aged between 15 and 24 years who will need a better future.


“Creating jobs for the youth and enhancing their potential should be made a priority by African leaders and policy makers. It is essential that we urgently tackle youth unemployment in order to fully realize their potential,” said Abdoulaye Mar Diye.


Also attending the summit include government officials and special guests among them the Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Jack Ma, , Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD as well as successful entrepreneurs, artists and youth opinion leaders from across the continent.

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